Executive Intelligence Review


South Korean Nuclear Negotiator in Washington for Talks

Nov. 19, 2018 (EIRNS)—South Korea’s top nuclear negotiator, Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Lee Do-hoon, will be in Washington today through Nov. 21 for meetings with U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun. The Korea Herald reports that among the items on their agenda is the formation of a joint consultative group which, among other things, is expected to discuss preparations for a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korea Workers Party Central Committee Vice-Chairman Kim Yong-chol. “The working group may hold its first meeting, if possible, after final coordination discussions,” Lee told reporters at Incheon International Airport before his departure. The U.S. State Department said today the working group

“would further strengthen our close coordination on our diplomacy, on our denuclearization efforts, on sanctions implementation, and inter-Korean cooperation that complies with the UN sanctions.”

The U.S. has complained that inter-Korean relations are developing faster than the denuclearization process and there is speculation reported in the Korean English-language press that the working group is designed to slow things down. According to news reports, inter-Korean plans to re-open railway crossings across the DMZ have been blocked by the U.S. military command, because taking supplies such as oil into the North contravenes UN Security Council sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.